Thursday, 26 May 2011 14:52
Amid the debate on the controversial Reproductive Health bill, a Catholic archbishop has called for sobriety on the issue.
Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said the issue has put Catholics at “odds” with one another.
In a pastoral statement, Villegas said it is not the Church’s intention to “add flame to the fire” but rather to make an appeal “for the triumph of reason and sobriety.”
“We want to make a plea for greater charity even as we passionately state our positions on this divisive issue,” Villegas said.
“At the end of the heated debates, we will all be winners if we proclaim the truths we believe in with utmost charity, courtesy and respect for one another,” he stressed.
Villegas said it is “sad” and “scandalous” that non-Christians are seeing the Catholics divided among themselves.
“We appeal to our Catholic brethren to remember that the unity of the Church does not only pertain to the acceptance of a set of doctrines. Our Catholic faith has a moral mandate,” he said.
He also called on the people for understanding on the Church’s position on the issue, adding that all it wants is for the welfare of the people.
“On this highly divisive issue, the Church is still a mother protecting her children from greater dangers and moral traps which until now her beloved children are still unable to foresee,” he said.
The RH bill seeks to control the country’s growing population through artificial methods of family planning.
But the prelate said the issue belongs to the realm of “faith, not opinions” and contraception can never be justified.
“We must not make wrong right by the sheer force of surveys or legislation by the majority or the convenience of some,” he said.
The pastoral statement will be read as homily on Sunday, May 29, in all Masses in the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan. (PNA/PIA9-BST)
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